- In Director's Desk
- Last Updated on 05 November 2012
- By Team MM
- Hits: 1944
This week, our Director’s benevolence towards the college newsletter is clearly depicted. Despite being ill and unhealthy, there is never a “no” to Team MM, who landed at his residence with variegated questions regarding happenings in the institute during the previous week - about things that concern not just one but all!
MM: A 3rd semester student of Electrical engineering had gone missing for 3 days. Had you received any letter from him? Some students are raising their voice against a professor who could have been a bit more lenient in awarding grades. Why do the professors choose the strict and ruthless method, rather than counselling, when they are regarded next to parents by thousands of students away from home?
D: First of all, the good news is that he has returned. On the day he disappeared he had put a letter on my table, which by the decision of fate didn’t come to my notice until he went missing. The letter mentioned that he will leave the institute. Had I noticed the letter earlier I would have tried to stop him. But these “had I’s” have absolutely no meaning, because you have no control over something that has already happened.
However, now that he has returned I don’t intend to talk to him for one day regarding what happened as he has just recovered from a mental trauma and I want him to spend some time with his family and friends before he is normal.
Secondly, I feel that the students are wrong. Students cannot draft a system where everyone passes in every subject. I don’t comment upon the awarded grade being right or wrong. Making all students pass in all subjects would not be in the longer interest of the students. Moreover, in case of a professor or any teacher, mistakes are bound to happen, especially when 40,000 grades are being awarded per semester. So accusing the professor would be wrong. In our system a teacher can only change the grade and that increases the self-esteem of the teacher. The professor in the picture isn’t responsible for what grade has been given. It was the lab assistant who awarded the grade and the H.O.D. was just doing his job as the head, in checking whether the grades were justified or not.
And here at our institute students value their seniors much more than their professors. If a senior tells a student that failing in a lab will mean he has to appear for 9th semester then they would believe it blindfolded, but that’s not true. Since final year is a bit less on academic work, so a lab could be adjusted in the 7th or 8th semester and the extra theory courses could be shifted to summer with no reflection on the grade sheet. Same might have been done with the boy. But, with the seniors telling him about a 9th semester, he might have been disheartened, dejected and hence disappeared.
MM: Recently the budget for all the clubs was declared, it is quite surprising that some clubs with absolutely no activity throughout the year have been getting good amount of money. Is there any body that checks the activity of a club? Are there any plans to decrease the number of clubs that exist independently but serve a common purpose?
D: No, it is not surprising. The VP’s and convenors are supposed to check that. It is quite sad that the students don’t hold the elected representatives accountable for their actions. Let the convenors answer to all these. Even the Team MM must ask the convenors regarding this.
I believe in the lofty principle of “undeserving might get but the deserving shouldn’t be deprived”. We here have surplus money for the club activities, but the money alone is not sufficient in getting the activities done. What is required is enthusiasm and people with determination.
Primarily clubs have been established to bring out the private interests and aspirations of the students. Unfortunately in case of the clubs, the enthusiasm is dying once the founder of the club is passing from the institute. The next badge bearer doesn’t have the same enthusiasm and hence they take the clubs to a very low level. But time and again there come some individuals who revive the club. Hence so many clubs are present and sustained.
The annual report of the clubs submitted definitely has some discrepancy and you all should hold the convenors accountable for what is happening. We follow the model of IIT kgp and NIT Warangal when it comes to activities which are both involvement of officials and private work by students. And the people responsible aren’t bothering about what is happening. So there is a need of both devoted workers from officials’ side and also student’s side to improve the scenario.
And no, there are no immediate plans to reduce the number of clubs. We will continue now, take polls, conduct surveys, do reviews and if there be need, we will then decrease the number of clubs.
MM: PE- Professional Electives, are 3 credit courses, but professors of some departments take 4 classes each week and as per EIMS constraints, 6 absents gifts a grade back to the students. What are your comments on this regard?
D: Teachers are serious about their jobs; besides regular classes they are also taking the doubt-clearing classes for the benefit of the students. Are the teachers charging extra amount for taking the classes? So, it is students’ duty to attend the classes, what is bad in this? Students are here, away from their homes, staying in the hostel to study well. So it is their job to attend the classes. They are running behind the short-term enjoyments, but we are here to discipline their life, to make them work hard, to guide them, so that they will be enjoying their life later. The welfare of the students is our duty and sole motto.
MM: There have been reports of a litigation which would prevent all the government institutes from inviting PSU, how true is that?
D: An advocate from Madras took IIT-Madras and HAL to court protesting that such sections would mean inequality and discrimination towards students from other colleges. The court immediately put a stay order on the process and we received a letter from the government clearly stating not to invite any PSU. But still some companies are still coming, since the court hasn’t given them any notice to stop going to the govt. institutes.
We can pray for the court to allow PSU’s. Situation is not that bad and there is no need to panic. We can hope for the best and find any and every legitimate way to survive within the system we live in.
MM: Some Ph.D. scholars are upset about the delay in sending the thesis to the examiner, the evaluation and the publishing of the results. Are you aware regarding this?
D: If you find the difference in the evaluation period of NIT and any other institute of national importance you will perceive that there is not much difference. Previously we had a system in which after submission of synopsis the scholar had to deposit the thesis within 2 months, but what happened is, the scholars remained flaccid and the submission would be delayed up to 6 months. So we would get repeated reminders from our examiners and that obviously affects our reputation. And since there was regular delay in submission of thesis, so the academic section didn’t rush in searching the examiners. And apart from that the few problems in this case recently were just because Mr. Shantanu Bhattacharya was really busy in the CCB work.
Also the supervisors who give the name of the examiners, at times refer to some who have done admirable research and there is lot of time spent in getting a reply from them as they are very busy. Sometimes the suggested names have either passed away or changed the area or field of research, hence the delay but again, only at times. However things have changed now.
Now, what we have done is, we are asking the students to submit the thesis within one month of deposition of synopsis. Since after submission of synopsis, only a bit of paperwork is required and not much research, so one month is enough. If they fail to submit within the given time frame, they have to re-deposit the Examination Processing Fee which was earlier the thesis submission fees, which would prove to be a hefty one. Now we expect the scholars to abide to the time frame and make sure that the submission is done in time. Institute is doing its bit despite the heavy increase in the number of candidates. Although repeated reminder to the examiners irritates them, we still try our best to conduct things in time. So things are to change now.
MM: The MM team did a poll on the issue “How Fair Is the Book Fair” and these are the results. All book stores save one are from outside the campus who aren’t delivering the books on time, causing the students trouble in procuring the books. What do you suggest?
D: There has to be a 2 months gap between the ordering of books and procurement. Hence the idea of book fair in semester’s end rather than the start. Despite my desire, I haven’t been able to do something for the book fair due to my hectic schedule. I am in search of a dedicated faculty who would understand the value of book fair and make it a valuable for the students. Almost all do, but none acts when there is a need. So there is dearth of good managerial skills.
The main bottleneck in this process is the fear of a nexus between the students and the book stores. For example, instead of buying books, if a student strikes a deal with the seller and distribute the money within them then the whole idea of book fair would collapse. Just to avoid that nexus we are facing problems in conducting this in a faster way. If any method can be devised to avoid the possible dishonesty and corruption then things will be lot smoother and easier.
But you give me some time and I will work out something in the favour of student’s interests. Another thing that we can do is that we can have the books delivered to the institute during the vacations, when students would be at their homes and we can have someone to inspect the books; keep them secure, so that when students come in January or July they can directly get their books without much delay. But finally I want to say that if I can spend a bit of time and if I can get a few more dedicated people on this job, then situation will improve because it is degree of improvement we are aiming at, rather than improvement of kind.
MM: Last semester and also in the first edition of DD this semester you had promised of taking some steps for the new convocation gown, the seniors are really anxious to know about the progress and we being a part of MM are being expected to help in bringing this significant change.
D: It is very obvious that the students will be anxious about this. This Wednesday, we will be having a meeting with the HODs, where this issue will be given attention.
MM: Dogs in the institute are creating tremendous menace and trouble, you had promised of proper action, what is being done?
D: The hostels are the major culprit of the problem. They are not disposing the waste food products properly. We are having two big dumping grounds with regard to this, they should be used properly. The food wastage is the main reason that attracts the dogs, because during the vacations, their number decreases. I am also having talk with some agencies who are preparing biogas plants. So, it will be helping in this regard.